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Opposition Deputy Leader says ALP remains committed to abolishing AWAs despite criticism from BHP Billiton.



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This transcript has been prepared by a source external to the Parliamentary Library.

 

It may not have been checked against the broadcast or in an y other way. Freedom from error, omissions or misunderstandings cannot be guaranteed.

 

For the purposes of quoting verbatim from a transcript, it is advisable to verify the transcript against the broadcast.

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AM

 

Tuesday 1 May 2007

Opposition Deputy Leader says ALP remains committed to abolishing AWAs despite criticism from BHP Billiton

 

TONY EASTLEY: The deputy Opposition leader, Julia Gillard, says she's told BHP Billiton that Labor remains committed to scrapping Australian Workplace Agreements because they hurt Australian families. 

 

She says if Labor wins office she will work with the resources sector in drafting a new industrial regime that respects what the mining industry is doing for the national economy. 

 

Julia Gillard is speaking here with Alexandra Kirk. 

 

JULIA GILLARD: I've had the opportunity to speak to BHP directly and I understand that they would prefer to keep Mr Howard's Australian Workplace Agreements.  

 

I've made it clear in those discussions that Labor is, and will be, committed to getting rid of Australian Workplace Agreements. 

 

Across the board, they've hurt Australian working families, they've taken away pay and conditions and we won't have that unfairness in Labor's industrial relations system.  

 

ALEXANDRA KIRK: BHP Billiton says that if you committed to scrapping AWA's, as you appear to be, that it's critical that you come up with an alternative system that promotes, not stymies, Australia's minerals industry.  

 

Have you come up with an alternative? 

 

JULIA GILLARD: I absolutely agree with that statement by BHP. We do need a system that's got flexibility and allows BHP to get on with what it does best, and of course that's being right in the midst of our resources boom. 

 

We believe the system that Labor outlined on the weekend, does meet BHP's need for flexibility. 

 

ALEXANDRA KIRK: But they clearly don't think that. They're urging you to come up with something new, aren't they? 

 

JULIA GILLARD: Well we'll keep talking to BHP, always happy to talk to them and always very respectful of what they're doing for Australia's national economy.  

 

But we believe that under the policy we announced on the weekend, they can have the flexibility they need.  

 

ALEXANDRA KIRK: But is there room for Labor to refine your industrial relations alternatives, to come up with something that would assuage the concerns of the mining industry, and indeed for example, the Labor premier of Western Australia Alan Carpenter? 

 

JULIA GILLARD: Labor's policy will stay. Labor's policy will be what we take to the next election.  

 

When it comes to building on that policy, to make it very detailed legislation, we are happy to work in a consultative way with business and particularly the resources sector to get that job done.  

 

TONY EASTLEY: Labor's deputy leader Julia Gillard speaking there with Alex Kirk.